Tony Jones: Former staff was told not to elaborate

Jones says UT counsel limited feedback to NCAA

Tony Jones

Tony Jones

Tony Jones said Tennessee's legal counsel advised the former men's basketball staff to answer only the questions asked by the NCAA and not elaborate in their interviews with investigators in the summer of 2010.

Jones, formerly UT's associate head coach and the current Alcoa boys' coach, was one of three assistants charged with a major violation for "failure to furnish full and complete information relevant to the investigation,'' according to a Feb. 23 UT press release.

It was one of eight alleged major violations by the men's basketball staff that led to their dismissal on March 21.

Specifically, Jones and former Vols coaches Jason Shay and Steve Forbes didn't offer background information about a photo capturing an impermissible contact between former coach Bruce Pearl and then-committed Aaron Craft taken at Pearl's home on Sept. 20, 2008.

"(Attorney) Michael Glazier advised all of us coaches to just answer the questions that were being asked and do not elaborate on anything,'' Jones said Tuesday. "The question that was posed to me was, did I recognize where this grainy photo of Bruce Pearl and Aaron Craft was taken; there was a microwave in the background."

Jones' settlement with UT restricted him from commenting on the case while being paid through July 31.

"We have a microwave in the Pratt Pavilion, where Aaron was also around Bruce, so I could not say for certain that the picture was taken at Bruce's house,'' he said. "I was being truthful, and I answered the question to the best of my recollection.''

UT went before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on June 10 and is awaiting word of its sanctions.

In its 190-page official response to the NCAA dated May 20, UT summarized the basketball findings as such: "Sadly, this became a case of a head coach and his assistants following a somewhat correctable secondary violation with a series of bad decisions.''

Pearl fired back through his attorney, Steve Thompson, who told the News Sentinel that Glazier had a copy of the now infamous photo six days before

the NCAA interview took place and didn't share it with the former staff until minutes before the interview.

Glazier, based in the Overland Park, Kan., office of Bond, Schoeneck and King law firm, worked closely with UT throughout its NCAA dealings. Glazier could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"Because of the NCAA stipulations, we can't comment on the specifics of the case, but we have been very pleased with our legal counsel,'' said UT vice chancellor for communications Margie Nichols.

Jones, obviously, doesn't share that opinion.

"It has been difficult to sit back and not comment on what really happened, knowing that things reported haven't included all the facts,'' Jones said. "I was never charged with lying to the committee or unethical conduct. I was charged with not being forthcoming.''

Jones said he is indeed guilty of making many of the 96 impermissible phone calls that added up to another major violation.

"There was an excess number of phone calls made, and I made the majority of those calls to a family that was in dire straits where I was trying to reach out and help the family of a current player,'' Jones said. "I take full accountability for that transgression. That's not something I would repeat again, but the young man is in good standing and has turned his life around. For that, I'm proud.''

According to NCAA case documents, 44 of the 96 impermissible calls were made to Vols rising junior Kenny Hall during his junior year of high school. Jones placed 39 of the calls, some to Halls' divorced mother, who Jones said was helping her son cope with a move from California to Georgia.

Shay and Forbes, now coaches at NCJAA Division I Northwest Florida State College, also were involved in the "failure to furnish full and complete information" violation.

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Comments » 38

orangeblood8456 writes:

why does the kns keep beating the same dead horse! same picture, same answer, and same results.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to orangeblood8456:

why does the kns keep beating the same dead horse! same picture, same answer, and same results.

The horse is beaten, but not dead. Unless you EVER believe an initial report from corporate news media. New info from Jones who was under a gag order until now, and is adding a little more to make the picture (no pun intended) a bit clearer. It will take years for the details to trickle out. Maybe one day the the "Who Shot JR?" question will be answered ... that's "who sent in this photo?" in this case. Aaron's dad IMO. :-o

Did the counselor not understand that the NCAA does not have a "fifth amendment" protecting against self-incrimination? He probably does, but is paid by CTJ ex-bosses and not CTJ. Therefore, if anyone is going to crash and burn he would naturally take the risk of it being the coaches, if it had any chance of protecting the people paying his bills ... UT. I bet CTJ, CBP etc hire their own counsel apart from any institution in the future in case of future investigations.

Lying, deceit, and cover-ups make it messy for everyone involved.

alfrizzle097 writes:

This is basically Jones claiming he did nothing wrong when he gave an answer that was not untruthful but omitted information that he knew was relevant to the investigation.

It is also Jones saying UT essentially told him to cover up the transgressions if he could do it in a way that UT wouldn't be able to be held accountable for.

Shady on all sides. I guess at this point I'm glad Bruce is gone, but I am truly sad that it went down this way.

orangeblood8456 writes:

in response to LiveFaith:

The horse is beaten, but not dead. Unless you EVER believe an initial report from corporate news media. New info from Jones who was under a gag order until now, and is adding a little more to make the picture (no pun intended) a bit clearer. It will take years for the details to trickle out. Maybe one day the the "Who Shot JR?" question will be answered ... that's "who sent in this photo?" in this case. Aaron's dad IMO. :-o

Did the counselor not understand that the NCAA does not have a "fifth amendment" protecting against self-incrimination? He probably does, but is paid by CTJ ex-bosses and not CTJ. Therefore, if anyone is going to crash and burn he would naturally take the risk of it being the coaches, if it had any chance of protecting the people paying his bills ... UT. I bet CTJ, CBP etc hire their own counsel apart from any institution in the future in case of future investigations.

Lying, deceit, and cover-ups make it messy for everyone involved.

do you know who shot jfk! i'am kinda afraid to ask.

kingmufasa76 writes:

in response to orangeblood8456:

do you know who shot jfk! i'am kinda afraid to ask.

thats a great game of clue i say officer on grassy knoll with rifle.... or was it man in black on bridge with rifle .... lbj knows and so does castro ponders long age question of who dunit¿ ......go big orange...... rip jfk

FeelVol writes:

I'm not buying it Griff,find something else to write about.

Couchdummy writes:

Griff, did you and Frank Munger attend the same school of journalism? My goodness, write about something positive for a change; or was this intended to be a Tony Jones vindication piece?

shipperman#280095 writes:

Tony Jones knew where that picture was taken, they all did. He was there too. I am not saying the attorney handled everything correctly, but Tony the truth will set you free

easleychuck writes:

Kristen, shot J.R. Not that it matters much, it was a TV show, not real life.

What happened to Coach Jones was real. I appreciate hearing more details. I think that he is an honorable person and appreciate what he did while he was at UT, especially during the difficult last season.

The 'AA is not interested in the truth. They are interested in proving a story that they have put together. Dealing with them is not a fair process. It appears that if they do not receive the answers that fit their case then you are not cooperating and not forth coming.

Good luck to Coach Jones at Alcoa and in his future coaching stops.

Titan writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Tony Jones knew where that picture was taken, they all did. He was there too. I am not saying the attorney handled everything correctly, but Tony the truth will set you free

Anyone who has ever given a deposition or testified in court knows that attorneys give the same advice that CTJ received - answer the question that was asked and shut up. Nothing unusual here. It is when you go beyond answering the question that you usually get in trouble - unless as in this case, you were already in trouble.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to shipperman#280095:

Tony Jones knew where that picture was taken, they all did. He was there too. I am not saying the attorney handled everything correctly, but Tony the truth will set you free

How do you know that?

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

How do you know that?

Common sense? Even if he wasn't sure which place it was, he was aware that Kraft had been to Pearl's house and the picture may or may not be depicting the violation he was aware of. He should have told the investigator, "I'm not 100% on where that is... but I would imagine it is either on campus or at the bbq we had at Bruce's house."

voloffaith writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

How do you know that?

God's word,the Bible, says"you shall know the truth and it will set you free." Not just head knowledge,but intenalized truth via His Holy Spirit saving an individual and granting them faith to believe. Saved ones can take God's word and be set free mant things that have shackled them down for few to many years.

Coach T owned up to the phone calls to clarify some of the haze for us. The rest will still be speculative on our part. Old line said don't play with fire and you won't get burned.....

voloffaith writes:

in response to voloffaith:

God's word,the Bible, says"you shall know the truth and it will set you free." Not just head knowledge,but intenalized truth via His Holy Spirit saving an individual and granting them faith to believe. Saved ones can take God's word and be set free mant things that have shackled them down for few to many years.

Coach T owned up to the phone calls to clarify some of the haze for us. The rest will still be speculative on our part. Old line said don't play with fire and you won't get burned.....

Last sentence first paragraph after "and" should read,be set free from many things.....

CrankE writes:

What's relevant here to me is how things were orchestrated leading up to the handling of the photo-something that is just now coming to light.

For the record, when you're confronted by the authorities, the general rule of thumb is name, rank, serial number. Make them ask the questions, don't give them loose threads to pull on. It's true when auditors come to visit your business. It's true when there's an investigation. It's true when you're talking to the police. Many wrongdoers are snared by nothing more than their own loose tongues.

You could literally make a what-not-to-do case study out of this. The coaches had to know on the one hand exactly what had transpired. The NCAA was playing "gotcha" and told UT to play along and keep their secret with Pearl. UT dutifully played along.

The coaches for their part had to know what the truth was, knew their part in it, and failed to own up. Had they done so, then this would have been a speed bump.

SouthKnoxTrojan writes:

in response to Titan:

Anyone who has ever given a deposition or testified in court knows that attorneys give the same advice that CTJ received - answer the question that was asked and shut up. Nothing unusual here. It is when you go beyond answering the question that you usually get in trouble - unless as in this case, you were already in trouble.

That may be true.

But, the attorney apparently had not done his homework enough to know the facts about the photo. If he had, surely he would have made sure the record was cleared up, and surely to goodness he wouldn't have let all 4 coaches get trapped in accusations of not be fully honest.

As an aside, the lawyer is a former business partner with Mike Slive.

The real kicker in the whole deal though is the statement that UT is very pleased with its legal counsel. You've got to be freakin kidding me!

Casey Anthony gets away with murder, after being defended by a guy trying his first capital case.

OJ walked.

Even pretty boy Isaacs and nutty Herb kept the zoo man from the needle.

Yet, UT and 4 fine coaches are staring at the most severe penalties imaginable for what should have been the equivalent of a parking ticket, and Jimmy Cheek and the boys are very happy with their choice in counsel?

VOLinATL writes:

Tony: Breathe in, breathe out, move on.

voloffaith writes:

in response to PatientlyWaiting:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gently I say be Patient as your poster name implies. Also be happy I didn't even attempt to take an offering.....

voloffaith writes:

in response to GhostOFLaneKiffinFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok the truth is out now.....ewe work for the Natl Enquirer Bull division. Type ON!

Ps We're going to get PETA after ewe since you kick dead horses....

lafollette37766 writes:

Spare us KNS. Some of this news is so old it is starting to appear in ancient history books.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to lafollette37766:

Spare us KNS. Some of this news is so old it is starting to appear in ancient history books.

Sounds like Tony Jones is tired of being stabbed in the back and wants his side of the story heard.

Nothing wrong with that. I'm sure that you and I would also want our side of the story heard if we were in that position.

SouthKnoxTrojan writes:

in response to GhostOFLaneKiffinFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This if from Gribble's article posted on July 23.

Neither Pearl nor Glazier were caught off guard. Six days earlier, the NCAA's enforcement staff had informed Glazier that the infamous photograph of Pearl and prized prospect Aaron Craft taken inside Pearl's home would be part of the interrogation.

"Have you, and I apologize, this is a grainy photo that we received in our office, and I received this through e-mail just to let you know," Thompson said, looking at Pearl. "But, um, we received this picture and it purports to be you with Aaron Craft.

"Do you have any recollection of that incident or maybe where this picture was maybe taken from and..."

"That's Aaron, that's me," Pearl said. "I don't really know where that's taken."

"OK," Thompson said. "Any place on campus but you don't know?"

Glazier interjected.

"Do you recognize the woman that's in the picture?" he asked, referring to a shot of Jana Shay, the wife of Pearl's assistant coach Jason Shay, positioned with her head down in the background.

"No," Pearl said. "I really don't."

"Coach," Glazier said, "is that in your home any place?"

"No," Pearl said.

"OK," Thompson said.

Why in hades did Glazier (who is there to protect UT and the coaches) ask the question that sunk UT. Did he know the picture was taken at Pearl's house? If he did, he should have cleared up the record; if he didn't - then (1) he should have known it, and (2) he should have kept his pie-hole shut until he learned the facts.

Keep digging KNS. I think we deserve to know more, especially since UT is seeminlyf burying this part of the fiasco with insane comments like "we're very pleased with our legal representation."

bhamvol1 writes:

Listen, I've sat in front of an NCAA investigator on the record and you answer only what is asked. You don't elaborate and you stick only to what was asked. Once you open the door for another line of questioning, they are going to go down that path for as far as they can. What Glazer told those coaches was the right thing. Witholding the knowledge of the photo he received 6 days prior was not the right thing to do.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to SouthKnoxTrojan:

This if from Gribble's article posted on July 23.

Neither Pearl nor Glazier were caught off guard. Six days earlier, the NCAA's enforcement staff had informed Glazier that the infamous photograph of Pearl and prized prospect Aaron Craft taken inside Pearl's home would be part of the interrogation.

"Have you, and I apologize, this is a grainy photo that we received in our office, and I received this through e-mail just to let you know," Thompson said, looking at Pearl. "But, um, we received this picture and it purports to be you with Aaron Craft.

"Do you have any recollection of that incident or maybe where this picture was maybe taken from and..."

"That's Aaron, that's me," Pearl said. "I don't really know where that's taken."

"OK," Thompson said. "Any place on campus but you don't know?"

Glazier interjected.

"Do you recognize the woman that's in the picture?" he asked, referring to a shot of Jana Shay, the wife of Pearl's assistant coach Jason Shay, positioned with her head down in the background.

"No," Pearl said. "I really don't."

"Coach," Glazier said, "is that in your home any place?"

"No," Pearl said.

"OK," Thompson said.

Why in hades did Glazier (who is there to protect UT and the coaches) ask the question that sunk UT. Did he know the picture was taken at Pearl's house? If he did, he should have cleared up the record; if he didn't - then (1) he should have known it, and (2) he should have kept his pie-hole shut until he learned the facts.

Keep digging KNS. I think we deserve to know more, especially since UT is seeminlyf burying this part of the fiasco with insane comments like "we're very pleased with our legal representation."

Bingo! Somebody is paying attention to the details. Glazier was not representing UT's interests unless maybe he was told Pearl was not in UT's interests.

Orange_Juiced writes:

in response to GhostOFLaneKiffinFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know what GOLFK...you're really one troll I don't mind having on this site.

Interesting side note that 44 of the impermissible calls were to one Kenny Hall. TJ going out of his way to help someone in a time of need...maybe. If that is the case then this becomes one of those situations where you get burned trying to do good. It's also one of those things where a "bureaucracy"...in this case the NCAA...busts someone for bending or breaking the rules without consideration as to the reason behind it. I know...rules are rules...but sometimes compassion trumps rules. And sometimes you break the rules knowing you're gonna get burned...just simply because it's the right thing to do.

I hate it for TJ. Sounds like he was trying to do a good thing and got burned.

hueypilot writes:

in response to SouthKnoxTrojan:

This if from Gribble's article posted on July 23.

Neither Pearl nor Glazier were caught off guard. Six days earlier, the NCAA's enforcement staff had informed Glazier that the infamous photograph of Pearl and prized prospect Aaron Craft taken inside Pearl's home would be part of the interrogation.

"Have you, and I apologize, this is a grainy photo that we received in our office, and I received this through e-mail just to let you know," Thompson said, looking at Pearl. "But, um, we received this picture and it purports to be you with Aaron Craft.

"Do you have any recollection of that incident or maybe where this picture was maybe taken from and..."

"That's Aaron, that's me," Pearl said. "I don't really know where that's taken."

"OK," Thompson said. "Any place on campus but you don't know?"

Glazier interjected.

"Do you recognize the woman that's in the picture?" he asked, referring to a shot of Jana Shay, the wife of Pearl's assistant coach Jason Shay, positioned with her head down in the background.

"No," Pearl said. "I really don't."

"Coach," Glazier said, "is that in your home any place?"

"No," Pearl said.

"OK," Thompson said.

Why in hades did Glazier (who is there to protect UT and the coaches) ask the question that sunk UT. Did he know the picture was taken at Pearl's house? If he did, he should have cleared up the record; if he didn't - then (1) he should have known it, and (2) he should have kept his pie-hole shut until he learned the facts.

Keep digging KNS. I think we deserve to know more, especially since UT is seeminlyf burying this part of the fiasco with insane comments like "we're very pleased with our legal representation."

Very interesting. Isn't it a rule taught at Witness Interview 101 that you never ask a question unless you know what the answer is going to be? Of course that's what we've all been taught. So it makes you wonder why the attorney that was supposed to be the advocate for UT and Bruce Pearl asked it, unless as someone else suggested, those two clients, Pearl and UT were at cross purposes.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

Griffey boy, you have absolutely NO knowledge of what went on during the investigation. Please stop making yourself look silly by writing things you know nothing about.

kingmufasa76 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thought god aka johnny majors let his son Forgive me fulmer do thy talking LOL JK

samvol writes:

Jones and Pearl got back what they put into the universe and it was well deserved. They both have screwed over many.

What goes around comes around…..

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure there are some lawyers out there), but don't lawyers always advise their clients during an examination to just answer the questions and don't elaborate. I think the general policy is, if you are under investigation, the less you say the better.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Is this the same Alcoa High School that competed with Bradley Central,Riverside, hmmm I don't like that school much. I like Tony ok though. He should be a head coach at some mid-high major somewhere.
Phone calls? BBQ's plbbttt! NCAA plbtt!
Lol I'm just kiddin' NCAA. sorta.
KNS? let it go.

voloffaith writes:

in response to kingmufasa76:

Thought god aka johnny majors let his son Forgive me fulmer do thy talking LOL JK

Not sure what that meant ,but I thought ewe played your part well in 'The Lion King.'

voloffaith writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Self-exalted/minded one who do ewe speak for? Larry,Curly, or Moe?

Volunatic writes:

"we have been very pleased with our legal counsel"

WHY on earth is UT pleased with the way Glazier set up Pearl and his staff?

Volunatic writes:

in response to kingmufasa76:

thats a great game of clue i say officer on grassy knoll with rifle.... or was it man in black on bridge with rifle .... lbj knows and so does castro ponders long age question of who dunit¿ ......go big orange...... rip jfk

Colonel Mustard killed JFK in the parlor with a candlestick.

Volunatic writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure there are some lawyers out there), but don't lawyers always advise their clients during an examination to just answer the questions and don't elaborate. I think the general policy is, if you are under investigation, the less you say the better.

I don't think that is necessarily the case with the NCAA. There is no bill of rights to protect the accused.
In the NCAA, the cardinal sin is lying about a violation-- the violations themselves are usually very minor in the eyes of the investigators.

eduardo writes:

call me a conspirator but the fulmerites are alive and well!

JohnnyD writes:

These phone calls and hot dog cook outs are bad! Way to put your foot down NCAA!!! Also a shout out to the KNS for repeatingly trying to make this a case where a player was paid 200,000 to play for the Vols! You guys are a class act!

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